Lightning Champions Spotlight: Zoe Lai

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Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got another Lightning Champion, Zoe Lai, a Salesforce Consultant at SalesFix. This episode is part three of a six-part series, the Lightning Champions Spotlight, hosted by Kelly Walker, Senior Adoption Consultant at Salesforce. We talk to our amazing Lightning Champions to find out about their career journey, how it lead them to the Lightning Experience, advice on handling change management, and why Lightning Experience is so awesome.

Join us as we talk about how Zoe’s been able to move up in the Salesforce ecosystem, what it means to be a Lightning Champion, and how she took her first org into Lightning.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Zoe Lai.

 Another accidental admin.

Before “falling into Salesforce,” as Zoe puts it, she was a digital marketing and project management specialist. She became an accidental admin, then product owner, and that lead her to her current role as a Salesforce Consultant at SalesFix in Melbourne, Australia.

When Zoe implemented her first Salesforce pilot they were on Classic, but when she went to World Tour Sydney she encountered Lightning for the first time. “It was totally a wow situation for me, so after I came back I started learning more about Lightning and tried to put together a business case to transition our pilot into Lightning,” Zoe says. 

How to drive adoption by showing off Lightning.

As far as Zoe’s favorite Lightning features go, Path is definitely up there. “It provides an easy, visual way show where a record is located and for a user to update its status easily,” she says, which makes it easier for users if they can get the hang of it. One of the main ways she drives adoption is by simply showing off how much easier the process is. 

Driving adoption and getting people to change what they’re doing isn’t always easy. “After a few implementations and transitions, I found that the first step when it comes to change management, I think you need to stop and listen to the customer and identify their current pain points when it comes to change,” Zoe says, “what are the normal, usual obstacles and understand how the team is using and why.” That gives you the information you need to come with a plan to address whatever issues your team has. It comes down to understanding that “what’s in it for me” mentality.

Why the community is key.

A Lightning Champion is a customer or a partner in the Ohana that is passionate about the LIghtning Experience, and looking to evangelize the power of the platform in terms how it’s transformed their organization and their career. “I always try to find ways to give back the community,” Zoe says, “the reason I became a Lightning Champion is because I’m passionate about the Lightning experience, and I want the community to have the same ‘wow” experience.”

When it comes to how to get active in your community, Zoe’s advice is to “keep learning and keep giving back.” For starters, you can join the Trailblazer Community and your local user group and get involved there. You can start going to community events and take your networking to the next level. Remember that everyone going to these events is just like you, or used to sit in your shoes, so don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need.

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Full Show Transcript

Kelly Walker: Welcome to the Salesforce Lightning Champion Spotlight on The Salesforce Admins podcast. My name is Kelly Walker and I am a Senior Adoption Consultant here at Salesforce. I also have the amazing opportunity of working closely with the awesome trailblazers who are passionate about Lightning and have become Lightning Champions to evangelize the power of lightning. In this mini series, we will be talking to six awesome lightning champions to talk about their career journey, how it led them to the lightning experience, advice on handling change management, and to focus on their stories of why lightning experience is so awesome.

Kelly Walker: Now, Salesforce is turning on lightning experience on a rolling basis in winter 20. Users still have access to Salesforce Classic after lightning experiences turned on, but lightning experience is where you want to be for driving business growth and improved productivity. To get ready, verify your orgs existing features and customizations in the new interface and prepare your users with change management best practices. This update applies to users who have the lightning experience user permission, including all users with standard profiles and users with custom profiles or permission sets that have the lightning experience user permission enabled. For more information, check out the critical update and watch this short video titled, “Understand How the Lightning Experience Critical Update Affects My Users,” both of which are linked in the show notes.

Kelly Walker: This week on the Lightning Champion Spotlight, we have Zoe Lai, a Salesforce Consultant from Melbourne, Australia here with us and we have the amazing opportunity to talk to Zoe today about her transition to Salesforce, to lightning, to all things that come with that. Zoe, I just want to be the first to welcome you on the Admins podcast.

Zoe Lai: Thank you, Kelly. Hi, everyone.

Kelly Walker: All right. Well, without further ado, I say we jump right into it and tell us a little bit about how you came to Salesforce.

Zoe Lai: Before falling into Salesforce where I was a digital marketing and program management specialist. Then I had an opportunity to help my team implement a Salesforce pilot and then one thing led to another. I became an assistant with [inaudible 00:02:33], the product owner. Then, now, I’m a consultant at SalesFix.

Kelly Walker: Well, that’s awesome. As it relates to lightning, because you are one of our amazing Lightning Champions, how did you come across that? Was it something that you were told to learn or you just saw the future of Salesforce headed that way? Tell us a little bit more about that journey.

Zoe Lai: Yeah. When I implement my very first Salesforce pilot, we were on plastic. A few months after that, I was sent to work to Sydney. There, that was the first time I saw how … Well, I learned about lightning platform and then it was totally a wow situation for me. After I came back, I start learning more about lightning and then try to put together a business case to migrate our pilot into lightning. That’s the start of my lighting journey. Ever after that, I just keep on learning on the lightning features and just amazed at the beautiful interface and how much more you can do with it.

Kelly Walker: Right. Now, for features, what is your favorite lightning feature?

Zoe Lai: There are many, but if I have to pick one on top of my head, I think, definitely path. Path provide an easy visual way to show where a record is at and for the user to update easily, and status or other pick this field that you choose. Then I found it really easy instead of just trying to find the fill status and then change status from that field, pick that field. It is way more easy to just click one of the status you want to change into and then make it a current status on the Path.

Kelly Walker: Awesome. How are your users adjusting to the Path, because that’s something that they never had before? Is that new for them or a tool that they can no longer live without? What’s the response then around that?

Zoe Lai: At first, they don’t understand what Path does. At the beginning, they still try to find a status. They got used to it after I show them … Actually, you can just do it from there. Just show it on their computer and then they were like “Wow, that’s much easier.” That just make it easier for them to update the status for their sales record.

Kelly Walker: Have you introduced that awesome new feature, the confetti at the end, to celebrate something won or closed?

Zoe Lai: I haven’t got a chance to do that yet. I look forward to do that one. Well, one of my customers in the future.

Kelly Walker: Yeah. I would be interested to see or hear about their reaction when the digital confetti falls on their screen.

Zoe Lai: Yeah.

Kelly Walker: Awesome. If we think about where your customers were in classic and you having the enormous responsibility of transitioning them to lightning, and I only say enormous as it relates to the change management aspect. Can you dive into that a little bit to help us understand how you help other customers and users become comfortable with this change and maybe some best practices that you’ve learned along the way or some things that you’ve found to be hard at first and really come together at the end?

Zoe Lai: Sure. Change management is not always easy. I had a few examples and after some implementation, the “Oh, Zoe, I need to have a plan first.” After a few implementation and transition, I found that the first step when it comes to change management, I think, we should stop and then just listen to the customer and identify their current pain point when it comes to change, what’s the normal usual obstacles and then understand how the team is using the platform and why or is there any resistance. After I understand and identified this, then we can come up a better plan for the customer addressing those pain points. A plan can be perfect and/or designed perfect with clear outcomes, address and resource plan, but if you don’t understand, try to understand the customer’s pain point first, you will experience more resistance during the process.

Kelly Walker: Yeah. That’s always one of the things that we find too, talking to customers. You need to find, “What’s in it for me” or “What’s in it for them” to really sell the new experience, the new page layouts, whatever it may be. How is it going to make me more efficient or help me sell faster, make more money or whatever my goals may be.

Zoe Lai: Exactly.

Kelly Walker: The community may have heard of this term, “Lightning Champion,” but not necessarily know what it means or who is a Lightning Champion. Just explain it a little bit. A Lightning Champion is a customer or a partner in the Ohana that is passionate about lightning experience and really looking to evangelize the power of the platform when it’s done for his or her career. Just, really, talk to the benefits that they’ve seen in making the move from classic to lightning or from building apps on lightning experience. For you, Zoe, I would love to understand why you became a Lightning Champion and really, what it means to you.

Zoe Lai: I always try to find ways to give back to the community, whatever I learn or share with the community, the resource that I know. The reason why I joined Lightning Champion is because I am passionate about the lightning experience and I want the community to have that same wow spirits and learn more about the lightning platform and the features, so that it make their day-to-day business process easier, faster and drive more positive outcome for their business.

Kelly Walker: Awesome. Are there a few things that you’re doing within your community that you’d like to share as it relates to your role as a Lightning Champion?

Zoe Lai: I did a flow presentation in one of our Melbourne user group. I was so nervous. To be honest, I can’t say that I’m a master of the latest lightning flow. In that session, I share what I’ve learned from the old version of the flow to the lightning flow. Surprisingly, after the session, a lot of people came to me and then say that, “Wow, I saw that flow. It’s a thing that I’ll never want to touch.” After the session, they understand that they can actually try and start to use it. I was quite happy to hear that.

Kelly Walker: That’s amazing, because flow is one of those things, I will admit, myself included, that seems very intimidating. I try to stick with process builder or at least, I use to as much as possible, but really, all that’s happening with the new flow builder and how you can use flow within lightning. It really is changing the game. I love that you really are talking about flow and getting other customers comfortable. Now, the other thing about flow, and I always bring this up, is that we’ve moved into making templates available. Even if you don’t want to start net new, there may be a template out there that’s at least a great starting point for you to build upon. Anyone out there who has not seen Zoe’s presentation but wants to start with flow but not something that you’ve built yourself, I would definitely check out on the AppExchange, what flow templates our partners are building.

Zoe Lai: Right. One thing I want to add on top of that is, like you said, flow seems intimidating, but how I’m learning is to look for the examples on the internet or from my colleague. I’ve got a colleague who is very good at building flow. He built for like within … he can have it done within 20 minutes and complicated flow. What I do is, as part of myself learning, I would just go into those flow that he built and try to make sense and then, “Oh wow, so this is how you do this when you want to achieve that.” That’s how I learned, try to improve. There’s, still, a lot for me to learn. I can’t say that I’m mastering it yet, but yeah, that’s a good way. I found that it’s easy to improve your skills in building flow.

Kelly Walker: Yeah. I love that. Not just for flow but some other aspects in reverse engineering almost. You can start to see what the end result is and how we got there, and I think that’s a great way to learn those features that, maybe, aren’t as intuitive right off the bat. Well, Zoe, as we talk about flow, it really gets me thinking about building and building stuff specifically in lightning, maybe new processes, procedures. I would love to hear, maybe, something that you’ve built for one of your customers or maybe your own or that you’re really proud of and you’d like to brag about yourself a little bit.

Zoe Lai: Yes. I once helped a customer transform their case management process from the outlook inbox folder to Salesforce platform. They transformed from having to manually drag the email into different folder to automatically have the email comes into Salesforce with accounting counter identified and also, stage automated. Essentially, their service agents transform from spending tremendous hours per day to only need to look at the list view that we created for them and only look at the action require list view to process those inquiry from their customer and they were very happy.

Kelly Walker: That’s awesome because not only did you bring that 360 view of the customer into Salesforce, so that not just anyone who was in the email folders could see what was happening but bringing it into Salesforce so that everyone could understand the communications and the interactions that they were having. Then leveraging all of those amazing service cloud features, maybe, as it relates to macros or quick text or just productivity wins that you wouldn’t necessarily get with ancillary features, especially in that 360 degree view of the customer. All right, Zoe. Well, we’re doing something fun at the end of these conversations with Lightning Champions. I know you’re very active in your community. I would just love to understand any bit of advice that you may have.

Zoe Lai: Sure. My advice would be, keep learning and keep giving back. Join trailblazer community. User group is definitely a great way to start. You get to network with other people, learn new things and you may find your next job in these community events.

Kelly Walker: Awesome. I cannot agree with that more. I would not be where I am today without the amazing community that I plugged into as I got started. Thank you, Zoe, so much for joining us here. Thank you for being such an awesome Lightning Champion. It’s been a pleasure.

Zoe Lai: Thank you.

Kelly Walker: It was so great to have Zoe on the podcast this week. She has done so much for her Melbourne community during her four years of working in the Salesforce ecosystem. Being able to give back to the same community that has helped our champions get to where they are today is a huge theme that you’ll hear throughout this mini series, and that says a lot about this program. The reason Zoe wanted to be a Lightning Champion was to share the same excitement and appreciation she has for lightning with her community. You don’t have to be an expert to have an influence in your workplace or your community. As long as you are passionate and competent with what you know and share those experience with others, like Zoe did when she gave her flow presentation.

Kelly Walker: Before we end the episode, I want to reiterate that change management is not always easy. Your job as a Salesforce Admin is to make this transition easier for your users. You may have your idea of the perfect plan, but without identifying their pain points and how they use the platform, you might find resistance with your transition. Take a step back, listen to your users and hear what their needs are to make sure you’re getting to the heart of what’s in it for them. Thank you for listening and tune in to find out who we will feature in our next Lightning Champion Spotlight.

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